PREVENTATIVE and primary care are in some respects two sides of the same coin.
Primary care involves visiting an appropriate healthcare practitioner when an illness first starts for first-line treatment — before the illness progresses.
Preventative care is incredibly important, and is necessary to prevent conditions or illnesses from getting worse or needing radical treatment, according to Heidi Kruger, the Board of Healthcare Funders head of corporate communications.
And though it may cost a medical scheme more money while it is putting a disease management programme together for diabetes, HIV or another chronic condition, it’s going to save medical scheme members, as well as the scheme itself, money in the long term.
About 500 000 people are expected to benefit from a US$30million global project aimed at addressing non-communicable diseases. The project will be rolled out in four countries, including South Arica, and will have a special focus on diabetes.
The School of Public Health at the University of the Western Cape is a WHO Collaborating Centre, and has an international reputation as a leading research and teaching institution in Public Health. Its educational and research activities are wide-ranging, with a special focus on health systems research, primary health care, social determinants of health, priority conditions (including TB/HIV and chronic disease) and the implementation of district health systems. The School’s distance learning postgraduate programme, offered through a range of learning media, is unique in Southern Africa.
SA government policy gets support from researchers at UCT and University of East Anglia, who identify nurses as preferred health providers for ART programmes.
Press Release: Nurse-centred care of HIV patients can be just as safe and effective as care delivered by doctors and has a number of specific health benefits, according to a new study led by the University of Cape Town (UCT) and University of East Anglia (UEA).
Child mortality rates have slowly come down, although they are still significantly high. Health experts say this is attributed to huge inequalities that exist in accessing health care.
According to health experts at a Peoples’ Health Movement conference in Cape Town, last week, poverty and high unemployment rates are some of the barriers that prevent people from accessing quality health care. Director of the School of Public Health at the University of the Western Cape, Professor Dave Saunders, says child mortality in South Africa is still high and it has a direct link to the levels of unemployment and rising poverty.
South Africa will increasingly move towards nurse-initiated treatment for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in the next five years, and a programme in KwaZulu-Natal Province, which has a high HIV/TB burden, is already training nurses to manage MDR-TB patients.
Faced with a chronic shortage of doctors, South Africa moved to nurse-initiated antiretroviral treatment (NiMart) in April 2010. Now, government plans to roll out nurse-initiated MDR-TB treatment, and to make it and NiMart available at all primary healthcare, antenatal, TB and mobile outreach clinics by 2016, according to the National Strategic Plan on HIV, STIs [sexually transmitted infections] and TB.
The Gauteng Health Department has set aside R1.4 billion to ensure a steady supply of medicine, with the bulk of the amount to be allocated to the Medical Supplies Depot.
Presenting the department's R24.5 billion budget for 2012/13 on Friday, Gauteng Health MEC Ntombi Mekgwe said the department had obtained permission from the national Health Department to procure some drugs from additional suppliers in order to pre-empt and mitigate the shortage of chronic medication.
"The department has reviewed maintenance contracts in order to minimise the breakdown of medical equipment. To this end, we have allocated R427 million to purchase medical equipment for our hospitals.
HIV may be the most immediate threat to healthcare in the country but health data gathered from hospitals around the country shows that violence and lifestyle diseases are taking a grievous toll on the health system.
The District Health Barometer, released in Pretoria on Thursday alongside the latest edition of the South African Health Review, showed that outside of HIV/Aids and opportunistic infections associated with it, such as tuberculosis (TB), pneumonia and diarrhoeal disease, the leading cause of premature death in the country is transport injury.
Health MEC Fezi Ngubentombi and her department kicked off the 2011-2012 financial year on a high note, promising to revitalise the health sector and inject new funds in the health sector that previously saw hospitals and clinics running out of essential drugs.
As a starting point, she promised to launch or relaunch forums that she saw as vital partners in the provision of health in the province, and more importantly, the Traditional Healers Forum and the district health councils of Lejweleputswa, Motheo and Thabo Mofutsanyana, as well as breathe new life into hospital boards and clinic committees of the same districts, among others.
THE recent report by Statistics SA emanating from last year’s General Household Survey offers welcome respite for Gauteng’s public health system. At the same time, results of this study table some of the hurdles the province still has to negotiate to attain a world-class and seamless health system that will benefit all the residents of Gauteng.
According to the research, 67,4% of respondents in the province said they were very satisfied with the services provided to them during their most recent visit to health facilities and 19,6% said they were somewhat satisfied. Just more than 7% said they were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.